If you are familiar with 42A: Author Philip K. ____ (DICK), you might well have breezed through this grid, since no fewer than 64 out of 191 letters are theme-related. If, however, like us, the name is known, but the titles only started to look familiar, or make sense, when you could see 90 or 95 percent of them, well, it might have taken you a little longer than Wednesdays usually do. (see above)
All of that aside, however, any grid that starts with RADS (1A: Exposure units), CAPED (5A: Like many a superhero), and PSST (10A: Cheater's sound, maybe), is going to be fighting an uphill battle with my affection. It doesn't really get a whole lot better, either, with ESAU, IVANI (what did I just say yesterday?... well, I guess, then, I can't complain about this one), and ABLEST. Also, UNIE (60A: Together, in Toulouse) is weak. It's the feminine form of the adjective, and if you're just using the word generally, it would be in the masculine form. Oh, and let's not forget REPEN (64A: Put back in the fold. And I won't even start on the Downs...
On the bright side, ERUPT (27A: Go ballistic) and PIGOUT (51A: Eat, eat, eat) were both nice, and ADULT (43A: XXX) is nice "Huygens material." COMMIE (23A: Cold war foe, slangily) was ok, too.
And that's about it for the good stuff.
I loved this puzzle! As you know, I always enjoy a good challenge, and for a Wednesday they rarely get more challenging than this. I finished in a wall clock-timed 28 minutes. To me this thing played like a mystery, or more accurately, a puzzle within a puzzle. I have barely heard of Dick (HARHAR) and I certainly don't know any of his stories, so I had to piece the long acrosses together a little at a time. I enjoyed the game. Yes, there were a few starnge and strange-looking answers--DAAE comes first to mind--but I don't think any of them were unfair. Nice mix of old--LADD, ESAU, ETTA, TOMLIN, and CERF--and new--TEXT, SAMPLED, and LEONA. I also like the unusual cluing for CIRCLE. What's the matter with CAPED? I thought that was NEAT. And don't you usually go for stuff like STEEL and STAEL lined up together? Or the European flair provided by HEIDI and DANUBE? How 'bout the animal sub-theme: SHEEP, FLEA, RAT, PIG, ORYX, ASP, APE, and PEWEE?? IMNO expert, but I thought this was far from AWFUL.ReplyDelete
OK, ok, I take your point. Some of them anyway. Frannie actually liked it more than I did, and she pointed out the STEEL / STAEL thing too. I hadn't noticed the animals, and yes, nothing was unfair or impossible. I didn't love it, but it wasn't the worst.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed this puzzle. I couldn't place DICK, but I do know of both of those books and their resultant movies, although I had to piece them together a little bit before the respective light bulb moments happened. You both said plenty about the good and bad, so I won't get into it. I have to admit that, though it is my "material," ADULT needed a couple of crosses before I got it.